'''Harry Houdini''' (born '''Erik Weisz''', later '''Ehrich Weiss''' or '''Harry Weiss'''; March 24, 1874 – October 31, 1926) was a Hungarian American|Hungarian-American illusionist
and stunt performer
, noted for his sensational Escapology|escape acts
. He first attracted notice in vaudeville
in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff Houdini" on a tour of Europe, where he challenged police forces to keep him locked up. Soon he extended his repertoire to include chains, ropes slung from skyscrapers, straitjacket
s under water, and having to escape from and apnea|hold his breath
inside a sealed milk can.
In 1904, thousands watched as he tried to escape from special handcuff
s commissioned by London's ''Daily Mirror
'', keeping them in suspense for an hour. Another stunt saw him Premature burial|buried alive
and only just able to claw himself to the surface, emerging in a state of near-breakdown. While many suspected...